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Witty and Extravagant Wearables at SOFA

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One of the country's most anticipated art expositions, SOFA is back at Navy Pier this weekend. It may sound like a pain in the ass to trek through the tour groups and wobbly Midwestern tourists buying salted nuts, but it's great people watching, and there's fancy stuff for sale! Most of the merchandise is super out of reach, in terms of pricing, but there's always a chance that you can fall in love with something and drop some G's to be the hit of the next dinner party. Today, we'll be dreaming about dropping G's and wandering around Festival Hall.

2PM Ok after this long walk down the Pier and a quick stop at Ben & Jerry's we're here and inside.


After eating a sandwich, we pay a visit to Charon Kransen from New York, a staple at the fair for years to see what's new from Scandinavian artists. He shows us this $14,000 wood necklace from a Norwegian woman named Liv Blavarp. This one is made of wood, hinged together with brass, so it's more reasonable than some of her whale bone pieces which can fetch somewhere in the neighborhood of $25,000.


And then we find this series of little munchkin pins/brooch thingies with a necklace or two. Made by Felieke Van Der Leest, the series is called "The Wild West" and features a boxing kangaroo, a dalmatian wearing a kimono, and a two-headed llama wearing a poncho. Aside from being completely hilarious that the artist crocheted their clothing and gave them jewelry, this series is kind of amazingly detailed. 2:30PM

Just when the fuzzy feeling started to subside, here's a gold-beaked, sight-impared, one-clawed birdie wearing a bonnet and a striped sweater.




[Kara is wearing a dress by Jason Wu cinched with a Lanvin belt. Closer to the ground, she's got Danskin socks on with Jimmy Choo shoes. Her bag is Gucci and her words are authentic.]

Chicago-based interior designer, Kara Mann is doing a talk right now with Laurel Feldman and Gina Bazer, editor for Chicago Home + Garden about collecting art and having a "language" for your interior. Speaking about the designer-client relationship, Kara feels it's necessary to bring client things that make them feel uncomfortable to make them come out of their shells.


Just tried on this 18 carat gold ring with raw diamonds made by Sowon Joo from Soeul. Paige Fetchen, a fiber artist currently in residency at Lill Street, who also reps Snyderman-Works Galleries where the ring is sold, says each of the ring's pods (and a lot of her other jewelry too) is crocheted with teeny tinny needles.


[Jo is wearing a Thomas Pink shirt, Reiss trousers, Roland Cartier shoes, earrings from Grainne Morton who is a Scottish craft maker and an Isabel Marant bracelet. Angus is wearing a Ross Tartan kilt from his father, Doctor Marten boots, a traditional sporran made of seal fur (that's the pouch over his family jewels) and a jumper from Toast.]
Here's a man in a kilt. His name is Angus Ross, and yes, he actually is from Scotland. Mister kilt-wearing furniture maker is pictured with Craft Scotland manager, Jo Scott. When we ask Jo to describe the Midwestern disposition, in a light Scottish accent she responds, "I think people here are very open, honest and they know what they like, I think they like to buy art, they're buying a lot."


· SOFA [Official Site]
· Last Night's SOFA Preview Was Art-Tacular! [Racked]
· Liveblogging Trends and Fashion at SOFA [Racked]